Fashion brands often times get a bad rep for pushing "T-shirt activism" in order to make a quick dollar off of a movement. But queer-owned feminist clothing brand Wildfang is putting its money where its mouth is, and stepping up for women's rights and safety. In honor of the 45 anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, Wildfang is fundraising to save the last abortion clinic in South Dakota. It's been nearly half a century since women won the right to safe abortions, but women in states like South Dakota are still fighting for access to those rights. Wildfang wants to change that.
Access has long been a class-based issue, where poor women and women of color are disproportionately affected by the financial burdens of "choice." For example, according to the Guttmacher Institute, black women are almost five times more likely than white women to have abortions, a difference that has been attributed mostly to their limited access to reproductive health care services, which leads to more unintended pregnancies than white women experience.
Not only is birth control expensive, but abortions themselves are expensive, costing anywhere up to $1,500. In addition to that, many states only have one clinic for such procedures, forcing those who need it to travel hundreds of miles to a provider — which is not something many women can afford.
With Wildfang's We’re Not Going Back fundraiser, the brand is fighting to save the Sioux Falls Planned Parenthood in South Dakota, one of the seven states with only one clinic left.
"We decided that a few Instagram posts or tweets wasn't enough. We wanted to have direct, meaningful impact on this issue and the lives of the women in these states," Wildfang shared. "The struggle of these women, is also our struggle. If we lose access, we go back 50 years."
While anti-choice advocates applaud the closing of these clinics, these closures have real-life consequences for women who are trying to gain access to safe abortions and other forms of health care. For example, when Texas abortion clinics closed after the state withheld their funding in 2011, women whose closest clinic shut down had to drive an average of 85 miles for health services.
The reason Wildfang chose South Dakota specifically was for a several overlapping reasons. First, every branch of government in South Dakota is heavily opposed to abortion, from the legislature to the Governor's Office to the attorney general. In 2015, The Institute for Women’s Policy Research named South Dakota the worst state in the nation for reproductive rights. And that title makes sense when you look at the kind of legislation put forward in the state. For example, in 2011, a bill was introduced in the state's legislature that would have legalized the killing of any doctor who performed an abortion.
Secondly, women who get an abortion in South Dakota are forced to take two trips to the clinic, 72 hours apart, because of a law that demands that women have three days to “really think” about their decision. Because of this, 35 percent of women are forced to travel more than 300 miles round trip. On top of that, Planned Parenthood doctors are forced to tell patients during their appointment that they are at increased risk for suicide because they are ending the life “of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” There is no science-based proof that this is true.
With this fundraiser, Wildfang is hoping to create meaningful change for women in the states who need it most.
For the fundraiser, 80 percent of the funds will go directly to the Sioux Falls Planned Parenthood clinic, and 20 percent go toward Indiegogo's platform fees, credit card processing fees, and the cost of the product. Below is a breakdown of how the money would be used.
- $650 helps one women who needs financial aid meet the cost of their abortion care.
- $5,000 allows doctors to travel to and from Sioux Falls for 1 month.
- $50,000 covers the cost of a security guard for the clinic for 1 year.
- $250,000 pays for medical staff to serve the clinic for 1 year.
- $750,000 funds the clinic to stay open for a 1 year.
If you're interested in helping out, below are the fundraising options.
$10 We're Not Going Back Pen Set
Get a set of six glittery, black ink ballpoint pens.
$25 We're Not Going Back Hat
Show your support in the form of a snapback hat.
$40 We're Not Going Back Tee
Donate $40 and get a We're Not Going Back tee in return.
$70 We're Not Going Back Crew
For those who prefer a sweatshirt, donate $70 and get a We're Not Going Back crew.
$150 We're Not Going Back Full Set
Donate $150 and you get the full collection.
$650 Fund A Safe, Legal Abortion
If you want to skip the swag and instead make a direct impact in a woman's life, you can donate $650 and fund a patient's abortion directly. One hundred percent of your funds will go directly to the Sioux Falls Planned Parenthood, and will cover abortion care for one individual who needs financial aid.
$1,500 Portlandia Experience
"Think Pretty Woman but better," Wildfang writes. If you get this package, you'll be greeted by Wildfang's Chief Creative Officer, and then treated to two hours of personal styling and $250 worth of free clothes. While you will have to get your own ticked to Portland, you'll get two nights in one of Portland's best boutique hotels, and you might even go out for drinks with the Wildfang team after.
Whether you choose a pen set or fund a patient's abortion directly, any amount helps. There's no better way to commemorate the anniversary of choice than making sure the most vulnerable women in our country keep their access to it.